STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State has once again earned recognition for its reputation as being one of the nation’s friendliest universities to the LGBTQ community.
Campus Pride, a national nonprofit, recently named Penn State to its “Best of the Best” LGBTQ-friendly Colleges and Universities list, making it one of 30 universities across the nation with the distinction. Penn State received 5 out of 5 stars for its LGBTQ policies, programs and practices and was one of seven schools in the Mid-Atlantic Region to earn the honor.
Other Mid-Atlantic schools on the list include Hofstra, Ithaca, Lehigh, Maryland, Montclair and Penn. Other Big Ten schools to make the cut were Indiana and Maryland.
“We are so excited to be included in the Campus Pride ‘Best of the Best’ again this year. Being recognized by Campus Pride is an amazing testament to the hard, collaborative work of students, faculty, staff and administration,” Sonya Wilmoth, director of PSU’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, a unit of Student Affairs, said in a written statement. “This honor showcases the dedication to furthering and broadening the work around diversity, equity and inclusion on our campus.”
Penn State earned a similar honor last year, when Campus Pride named it among the nation’s 40 most LGBTQ-friendly campuses. The university’s LGBTQ “report card” mirrored last year’s marks, with no score coming in under 4.5 stars on a 5-star scale. Among PSU’s grades:
Sexual Orientation Score: 5 stars
Gender Identity/Expression Score: 5 stars
LGBTQ Policy Inclusion: 4.5 stars
LGBTQ Support & Institutional Commitment: 5 stars
LGBTQ Academic Life: 4.5 stars
LGBTQ Student Life: 5 stars
LGBTQ Housing & Residence Life: 4.5 stars
LGBTQ Campus Safety: 5 stars
LGBTQ Counseling & Health: 5 stars
LGBTQ Recruitment & Retention Efforts: 4.5 stars
Penn State earned its high grades after marking 47 points off Campus Pride’s 50-point checklist, from making health insurance coverage available to same-sex partners to having an LGBTQ alumni group, and from making available gender-inclusive housing for returning students to having a trans-inclusive trained counseling staff.
The honor comes eight months after the borough of State College was ranked as one of the most inclusive areas in the country when it comes to LGBTQ community protections. The Human Rights Campaign Fund gave State College a perfect 100/100 score on the Municipality Equality Index, which measures the inclusivity of municipal laws, policies and services.
For more information on Campus Pride, or to see the full “Best of the Best” list, go to campusprideindex.org.